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2013: The year in review

Click here to see last year’s answers for comparison.  And feel free to do this on your own blogs!   Let me know if you do so I can see your answers.

1. What did you do in 2013  that you’d never done before?

It’s not something I’ve never done before, but this year we had lots and lots of dinner parties.  A rare event for us.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t make resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope, no new babies this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully no!

5. What countries did you visit?

The USA.  Photos here.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Nothing.  I am a very lucky girl.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

27 September and 6 October, I finally got to meet some of my very longest term online friends.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I don’t know… I can’t think of anything amazing that I’ve done this year.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Nothing exciting here this year either.  Clearly it’s been quite the average year for me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had two killer sinus infections.  Made me want to chop my head off both times.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I didn’t buy it, but the weather station the Boy bought me for my birthday is totally awesome.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Holidays.  Not a bad way to spend it really.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Nothing.  My year has been average, as I mentioned earlier.

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Anything by Luke Kennedy.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

Happier

b) thinner or fatter?

About the same

c) richer or poorer?

Richer

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Swim in my pool!

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Work.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

The same as always: Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas Day with the Boy’s family.

19. Did you fall in love in 2013?

I am still in love with my Boy.

20. What was your favorite TV program?

Still loving The Big Bang Theory, but this year I also got on the True Blood bandwagon.  Honorable mention to the final season of Breaking Bad, which was AMAZING.  The finale will go down in history as one of the best ever (although still not quite in the class of Goodbye, Farewell and Amen).

21. What was the best book you read?

I read all the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) books and enjoyed them.  Life and Laughing: My Story by Michael McIntyre had me in tears at times, and Ghost Child by Caroline Overington was beautifully written.  You know, the tragic part is I had to go to my Amazon account to see which books I’d bought for my Kindle to answer this question.

22. What was your favourite film of this year?

Star Trek: Into Darkness was a thousand times better than I was expecting.  I haven’t seen it yet but I’m expecting the second Hobbit movie to be pretty good too.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned the big 4-0, and had a massive party at home.  It was great.  We also went to Vue de Monde for dinner on my actual birthday, and it was spectacular.

24. What kept you sane?

I’m not sure, I think I may have gone a little mad this year. 🙂

25. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Robert Downey Jr.  I still adore George Clooney.

26. Who did you miss?

Huffle Mawson.  She was the best cat ever.

27. Who was the best new person you met?

I am not sure I met any new people this year.  I told you it was an average year!

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I defy you to watch this and not smile

What keeps you up at night?

Not the scary stuff, or the stuff you worry about.

What books have you read that you just couldn’t put down?

My all-time favourite book EVER is Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.  I remember reading it late into the night and having to physically force myself to put it down so I could stop laughing and go to sleep.  I would lie in bed shaking with laughter at that book.  A classic.

One of my other favourite books is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  I had to read it in school one year and adored it.  Atticus Finch was a man ahead of his time.

Another book I really enjoyed was Bridget Jones’s Diary.  I was reading that on a tram coming home from work one day and laughing so much that the woman sitting across from me asked what I was reading, as I was obviously enjoying it so much she wanted to read it too.  Totally ruined by the movie.  Don’t get me started on that.

I loved The Hobbit when I was younger (and still do) but for years refused to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  No, I don’t know why either.  I’ve rectified that now and have to admit that The Return of the King is one of the few movies to do justice to the book it was based on.  In fact all three of them were good in movie form.

For entertainment I read Clive Cussler and Janet Evanovich.  And Who magazine, which is published as People in the USA.

I am not a huge fan of autobiographies although recently I read The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do which was excellent; also quite funny.  I enjoyed The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry, and the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson which I received for Christmas.

What do you love to read?

Welcome to 2012

I hope your new year celebrations went as planned.  We had the usual bottle of champagne and plate of nibblies; very civilised.  Stayed up and watched the fireworks from our back yard, and were in bed by 12.30am.  We’re such party animals.

Anyhow, for Christmas I got all these books:
Books

And over the next few weeks I plan to finish them all. In fact, I’ve already finished the Steve Jobs biography. It was very interesting and I really liked the fact that the author didn’t sugarcoat it. There is a danger that people who are loved and hated in equal measures will be painted in an overly flattering light by their biographers, but Walter Isaacson didn’t fall into that trap and the book is better for it.

I’m now halfway through The Fry Chronicles, which is richly entertaining and makes me think I don’t know nearly enough about the English language.

I’m also very much looking forward to the other two books.

Dandenong Photography Tour

A few weeks ago I went on a photography tour with a professional photographer here in Melbourne.  The aim of the day was to learn how to shoot great landscapes.  Here are a few of the shots I got.

Dandenong 05
I was awarded the “Most Relaxed Photographer” award for taking this, as I was lying back on a bench seat to get the overhead shot.

Dandenong 06
It’s quite hard to shoot macro with a wide angle lens but I sort of accomplished it here.

Puffing Billy
The tourist train that goes through the hills. Probably my favourite shot for the day.

Dandenong 01
My other favourite shot of the day.

It was a long day and as you can see we visited several different locations but I learnt a lot.  Our photographer, Mark Gray (check out his website) was wonderful and very helpful, and did lots of one-on-one tutoring with everyone in the group.  Thanks Mark!

Oh how I laughed.

Me and him

Six year and two months ago, someone I worked with told me she had a friend she thought I should meet.  A few months earlier, at my 30th birthday party, my boyfriend at the time had told me he didn’t love me any more.  Impeccable timing, wouldn’t you say?  Anyway I wasn’t really keen to meet anyone new just yet, as I wasn’t done being bitter and twisted about the way I had been treated at my 30th.  Can you tell I haven’t forgiven him for that?

So my friend persisted with me.  After she told me who she had in mind for me to meet, I was really resistant.  See, he was her ex-boyfriend.  They had been broken up for several years but remained friends.  Trouble was, she talked about him a lot.  As in all the time.  And I figured she wasn’t really over him properly and no way was I getting involved in that situation.

For two more months she persisted.  And eventually, I gave in and said I would meet him.  Just once, for a quick drink, so she could stop nagging me.  By the way, when she told me he had a cat I was really worried.  See, I wasn’t a cat person.  I owned a rottweiler.  We had more differences than I could begin to count.  But we arranged a date for a drink after work one night.  Our mutual friend would come too, so we both had someone to talk to 🙂

They arrived at the pub before me and were sitting at a table chatting when I got there.  I sat down, we were introduced and I immediately thought, “wow, he’s really good looking!”.  After two drinks and with the conversation flowing, we decided it would be a good idea to order some dinner.  So we went up to the counter and ordered.

We forgot to get cutlery so he went back and got some for each of us.  He carefully placed mine in front of me on the napkin, but practically threw hers at her.  I laughed.  My calamari arrived, and the crumbing was so salty I almost couldn’t eat it.  When he offered to suck the crumbs off for me, I knew we had to see each other again.  Even though I politely declined the offer to suck the crumbs off my calamari.

Our friend said she was going home, and we barely paused our conversation to say goodbye.  We sat there for another two hours and didn’t stop talking.  He offered to drive me home, and then asked me if I would like to go out again.  I said yes and yes.

We haven’t been apart since.

Happy anniversary honey, I love you.

Photo Friday

photofriday
I have been promising Jan that I would join in Photo Friday for I don’t know how long now, and finally I have got my butt into gear to do it.

The theme for this week is Thanksgiving.  We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia so I thought I’d show you something I give thanks for 🙂

jimmy choo

Shallow?  Yes.  Am I bothered?  Not really.  I am lucky enough to be able to buy these kinds of shoes and I am very thankful for that!

More brownie points

Red Rose 03

It makes me wonder if he’s done something wrong 🙂 but this weekend I got more flowers.  I will not complain!

Dusky Moorhen

This is a bird I saw by a river in the Coleraine district when I was travelling for work a couple of weeks ago. I was the only one who saw it, and managed to get a photo. I felt pretty pleased with myself.
Dusky Moorhen

Yellow Rose

Back on a flower run at the moment.

yellow-rose

Countries I have visited

There are a lot more places I have to visit, aren’t there?

Polar Bear

Shhhh go away I’m sleeping!

polar-bear-sleeping

Wind Farm

The Toora Wind Farm in South Gippsland.  Part of it, anyway.

Testing

I’m giving WordPress a go for my new photo blog.  Fingers crossed!